Misconduct question

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oldtimer
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Misconduct question

Postby oldtimer » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:06 pm

The question is: a Player is taking a penalty shot on white team, as she shoots the defending player on dark kicks her. The shot scores. Should the referee issue a misconduct, and if so does that negate the penalty shot? If no misconduct what prevents that player from doing the same thing again?

Yes the referee should have made sure the defenders were not close enough to do that, but we watched this happen several times by the same girl in a tournament against different teams. The referee defended his actions by saying he would rather allow the goal than to call the misconduct.

Second scenario. A coach sees the opposing team with a one on nobody so he calls a timeout right as she is about to pick up and shoot. Does the referee have to honor that call for a timeout or can he ignore it and allow the girl to shoot? The rules simply award the attacking team a penalty shot which in this case is probably not as good as getting the one on nobody. This seems to be a rule just waiting to be abused if only a penalty shot. And yes I watched a coach do this in a tournament and he said out loud that that's the reason he called for the timeout was to force the penalty shot. Could the referee at least issue a yellow card for that behavior? It was pretty obvious it was on purpose

NFHS rules of course

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby ephpolo » Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:34 pm

I'll be interested to see the responses here. I think that kick is a flagrant misconduct (under NCAA rules), and I think it needs to be called. I can't find any guidance about whether or not the goal counts--and if it does, does the offended team also get a second, dead time penalty throw, and the ball back.

I'd say they should, but I do not see that guidance in the rules.

In your second situation, I'd say (tongue-in-cheek) that the coach is guilty of misconduct for "play that is unacceptable within the spirit of the rules and that is likely to bring the game into disrepute." Whatever the referee does to him or her in the game, no school should someone like that teach youth.

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby Water-Polo-Fan » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:21 am

oldtimer wrote:The question is: a Player is taking a penalty shot on white team, as she shoots the defending player on dark kicks her. The shot scores. Should the referee issue a misconduct, and if so does that negate the penalty shot? If no misconduct what prevents that player from doing the same thing again?

Yes the referee should have made sure the defenders were not close enough to do that, but we watched this happen several times by the same girl in a tournament against different teams. The referee defended his actions by saying he would rather allow the goal than to call the misconduct.


“RULE 7, SECTION 15 — SITUATIONS AND RULINGS
7.15 SITUATION A: A player interferes with a penalty shot and (a) the shot scores, (b) the shot does not score. RULING: In (a), the goal counts, the offending player is excluded for the remainder of the game and the substitute enters immediately; in (b), the offending player is excluded for the remainder of the game, the substitute is in the re-entry area, and the penalty shot is retaken. If the shot scores, the substitute enters immediately. If the shot is missed, the substitute shall not enter until after the earliest occurrence of one of the events (7-3).”

It would be the judgement of the referee as to whether he/she believed the “kick” was merely to interfere with the penalty shot or falls under the auspices of a flagrant misconduct. At minimum the goal counts in your game situation and the offending player is given a game exclusion. Clearly the referee was not aware of the rule.

oldtimer wrote:Second scenario. A coach sees the opposing team with a one on nobody so he calls a timeout right as she is about to pick up and shoot. Does the referee have to honor that call for a timeout or can he ignore it and allow the girl to shoot? The rules simply award the attacking team a penalty shot which in this case is probably not as good as getting the one on nobody. This seems to be a rule just waiting to be abused if only a penalty shot. And yes I watched a coach do this in a tournament and he said out loud that that's the reason he called for the timeout was to force the penalty shot. Could the referee at least issue a yellow card for that behavior? It was pretty obvious it was on purpose
NFHS rules of course


“SECTION 11 ADDITIONAL TIME-OUT – DEFENSIVE TEAM
The referee shall not award a time-out to the team not in possession of the ball above the number permitted or at times not permitted. If the team on defense calls a time-out more than the number permitted or at times not permitted, the referee shall blow the whistle and award a penalty throw to the opposing team. No timeout is charged to the team calling the improper time-out.”

It could be argued any goal, be it on a one on nobody breakaway or a penalty shot, is not guaranteed so the referee is damned if he/she does and damned if they don’t. Every situation is different and it used to be the referee would ignore the time out request. The rule is explicit and a veteran referee “could” state the request was not heard but I guarantee you in that scenario no good deed goes unpunished as the offensive coach will then lose his/her mind if the breakaway shot happens to bar out and he/she will then scream the penalty shot should’ve been called. In my opinion, when in doubt and taking everything into consideration, if the referee hears the defensive coach call a time out (when not entitled) the call MUST be made or risk the game being protested. The referee is not given the discretion to not make that call by rule and although the offensive coach may not like it, them be the rules!!!
As far as the defensive coach being subjected to any extra discipline the rule dictates the punishment as a penalty shot. IMHO it is addressed by the rule and it does not add any extra penalty to the defensive coach.
Like anything else in our society, if you don’t like the rule/law; change it.
Again, just my opinion and I’m sure some might disagree with me. I’m good with that. :D

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby Justafan22 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:31 am

In your first scenario, I would allow the score and roll that kicking player out of the game. There is no room in the game for players kicking another player, on purpose, when it's not a "heat of the moment" play, while fighting for position or countering or things like that, which happen in every game. The play is basically stopped for the penalty shop, and on the whistle she goes and kicks the opponent taking the shot? Throw her out of the game, and I bet she will never try that again. Also any other player that sees this will not think about doing it either.

The second scenario, unfortunately those are the rules. If that breakaway player is swimming and the opponent coach is in the ref's face screaming for a time out, the ref has to call it and award the penalty shot. Probably a yellow card should be given, for unsporting behavior. There has to be some sort of consequence against the coach, to keep others from also start doing it. A person could say that it is within the rules and on paper it might be, but come on, you can not have a specific rule for every single situation that happens in a game. There has to be some leeway given the the referee if 'in his opinion' something needs to be called. Just like a referee may decide not to make a certain call, that by the book is a foul for example, he should be able to interpret certain situations to his best judgement. Yellow card to the coach

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby Water-Polo-Fan » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:48 am

Justafan22 wrote:A person could say that it is within the rules and on paper it might be, but come on, you can not have a specific rule for every single situation that happens in a game.

You’re absolutely correct, BUT, (respectfully) in this particular case there IS absolutely a specific rule that addresses this scenario.

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby oldtimer » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:33 pm

Thank you - I missed the situation that discussed the penalty shot. I had seen in FINA rules it seemed clear that the penalty shot would count even if the misconduct was called, but I didn't go far enough to read all of the situation/ruling discussions in the NFHS book. The referee seemed pretty adamant that he could do only one or the other (the coach tried to argue the point, but the referee shut him down).

With regards to the time out call - yes, I saw the same rule which is why I said it looks ripe for abuse. For example, if a coach called a time out for a one on nobody breakaway every time, does the referee have the discretion to throw a card at the very least for delay of game or something similar? Getting a penalty seems to be a very small price to pay, since the coach doesn't get personal fouls recorded so he could theoretically do it 10 times. In addition, the coach made it pretty clear he was taking the lesser of two evils.

Loren Bertocci used to say that using loopholes to gain an advantage was just another form of cheating, and referees should find a way to restore balance to the game. He used the 'foul and drop' tactic as an example. You know it's against the rules, but when you do it inside of 5M (now 6M), you gain a benefit. He suggested calling an exclusion as a way to minimize/eliminate the practice. The direct shot rule seems to have been a response to this tactic, in addition to the 'two hands' impeding exclusion - but clearly was not enough to eliminate it.

I stated in another thread that there are people who see rules/laws not as a way to level the playing field, but as a way to gain an advantage if they can be successfully ignored, and this seems to be one of those situations. Some see it as being 'smart', but I see it the same was as someone using the right shoulder to pass or sitting in a right-turn-only lane to get ahead of the line of traffic. If everyone did it, we would have a bit of chaos, so I hope at least some referees don't tolerate such behavior.

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby Water-Polo-Fan » Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:54 pm

oldtimer wrote:Loren Bertocci used to say that using loopholes to gain an advantage was just another form of cheating, and referees should find a way to restore balance to the game. He used the 'foul and drop' tactic as an example. You know it's against the rules, but when you do it inside of 5M (now 6M), you gain a benefit. He suggested calling an exclusion as a way to minimize/eliminate the practice. The direct shot rule seems to have been a response to this tactic, in addition to the 'two hands' impeding exclusion - but clearly was not enough to eliminate it.


I respect and admire Dr. Bertocci very much, but I disagree with his assessment that taking advantage of a "loophole" is the equivalent of cheating. I might not like it either but I can't make a call based on what I'd personally like the game to be. I'd also disagree that the defense using a foul and drop as being against the rules. Which specific rule did he say it violated? Unless something has been changed in the high school and collegiate rules I'm not aware of there isn't any. I don't know about FINA rules as they've changed over the years and I no longer involve myself in them. I'd certainly agree it's boring water polo, but it's not against any rule in high school or college that I'm aware of. The referee could call an exclusion if the foul initiating the drop was over-aggressive or the defender clearly was not "playing the ball", but that only serves to correct that particular behavior and if the defense adjusts to those calls they're still going to do a foul and drop. The referee, in my opinion, is there to make sure the game is being played according to the rules (and current interpretations of those rules) as they are written and it's not the job of the referee to call the game as they'd personally like to see it played. I'd also think the offense and defense certainly have a say in how it's being played as they're the folks who are actually playing it. The referee's job is to restore balance when that balance is taken away, by either side, because of a rule that was violated. If it's not something that is already in the rulebook then the referee's job is to call something quickly based on past history and precedent and the rule-makers can decide later on how they want that particular situation called moving forward. I don't think we want referees calling things to restore balance based on their personal beliefs as I know referees sometimes differ on the philosophy of the game as much as any coach, player, or fan. That's why there is collegiate, high school, and age group referee clinics to get everyone on the same page. Again, in my opinion, if there's a loophole that is bringing the game into disrepute then the rule needs to be added, changed, or, sometimes, eliminated. Now I know there was a situation back in the day (not naming names here) where a collegiate game was called based on the exact rules as written and it looked nothing like the game we all know and love and everyone lost their collective minds when it happened. I'm not saying the game has to be called by a strict interpretation of the rulebook as there are interpretations of the rules to assist referees in that, but I am saying the game is being called based on the rules and current interpretations of those rules and that is how it should be called by every official as we are all wanting consistency in officials, their calls and the game itself.

oldtimer wrote:I stated in another thread that there are people who see rules/laws not as a way to level the playing field, but as a way to gain an advantage if they can be successfully ignored, and this seems to be one of those situations. Some see it as being 'smart', but I see it the same was as someone using the right shoulder to pass or sitting in a right-turn-only lane to get ahead of the line of traffic. If everyone did it, we would have a bit of chaos, so I hope at least some referees don't tolerate such behavior.


In your above examples there are already existing traffic laws to curb that behavior. The issue is not enough police officers, deputies of highway patrol officers to enforce those existing laws and not an issue with the laws needing to be added or changed. Trust me, I share in your frustration with that type of thing every day! LOL
I really appreciate your thoughts on these issues. Again, these are only my opinions and my mind is definitely open to change. I'm always open to a good robust discussion and love to learn new ideas. That's how change happens.

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby Water-Polo-Fan » Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:17 pm

BTW, just wanted to clarify my opinion on the foul and drop:
If the intent of the defensive foul is clearly to stifle the offense in order to do the drop and prevent the pass into set, then yes the appropriate call is an exclusion. If the defender commits the foul while clearly playing the ball, and the offense is slow to recover allowing the defender to make the drop you can’t punish the defender. It’s the same type of situation on a fast break where the defender buries one of the offensive fast break players just to stop the fast break and an almost certain goal. That’s an easy call. Perhaps that’s what Dr. Bertocci meant? If that’s the case I totally agree with excluding the defender every time. I was trying to explain the foul and drop defense, in and of itself, is not a violation. Hope that clarifies my opinion a lot better?

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby oldtimer » Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:16 pm

I meant to reply to this earlier, but real life gets in the way... :-)

With regards to the traffic point, my thinking is that even though the penalty is fairly tough (ticket and fine), people still do it because they believe they can get away with it. It is my belief that if the penalty was mild (only a warning, for example) more people would do it. So the point that 'there is a law' is not really the main issue. The main issue, in my opinion, is "what discourages people from behaving this way?".

I believe that Mr. Bertocci was not suggesting that every single foul and drop be called an exclusion. What he was saying with regards to cheating is that if someone is *intentionally* breaking the rules in order to gain an advantage, that is the very definition of cheating. Whether it be on your homework, your taxes, your marriage, or a game of water polo. The question is "How do you determine intent?". Referees have to do it all the time. For example, hitting someone in the head is against the rules. A referee can call an exclusion, a misconduct or a brutality (flagrant misconduct) depending upon the assumed intent. The referee will use the words, behavior, etc. of the offender to decide whether it is intentional.

In the case of a foul and drop, what I recall he was referring to was when a coach yells "Foul him/her!" from the sidelines. That clearly signals intent to violate a rule. That, I believe he was saying, should be an exclusion at the very least. Sure, there is a rule that says something is an ordinary or an exclusion or a penalty, etc. - but there is also a guideline for 'acceptable range of calls'. A referee is usually able to justify any call within an 'acceptable range', based on his/her judgement of the situation and act. In the cases I was referring to, the coach very clearly stated that it was his intent to get a penalty rather than allow the one on nobody because he felt it was less likely to result in a goal. I heard it standing on the bleachers about 40 feet away. The referee was standing on the deck about 15 feet away from the coach, so I know he heard it. And , as ephpolo stated, there is the concept of "play that is unacceptable within the spirit of the rules and that is likely to bring the game into disrepute."

As has been pointed out to me numerous times - a referee does not, and cannot, call the same strictly based upon the written rules. There is some amount of interpretation and judgement that has to be used. It is my impression that job #1 for a referee is to keep control of the game, and in referring back to my first point, sometimes meting out a harsh penalty right at the outset (or first occurrence) will prevent escalation later on.

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby sbdad » Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:11 pm

On that same note, should it be a misconduct on a coach for yelling from his bench for his players to "foul out number 3"? I have seen this happen multiple times over the years. Then you watch their kids try to swim under "number 3" in every transition. I feel it is disrespectful and dangerous. Some have class some don't.

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby WaPoSaD » Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:28 pm

Some of this conversation involves classic "Philosophy of Sport" stuff as applied to water polo, so if the topic interests you, there are lots of books on both the narrow and broader underlying issues that one could read. There are lots of alternative ethical visions; see which one most aligns with your personal views. My own position on a couple of points.

(1) "Cheating". I personally respectfully disagree with the view that "intentionally breaking the rules in order to gain an advantage [] is the very definition of cheating." For example, in basketball, if you're down 2 points with 10 seconds left, and the other team has the ball, and you try but fail to steal it, the classic tactic is to deliberately foul the opposing player, hoping that he'll miss his free throws. When you see that (as I'm certain you have), do you really call that team/player a "cheater"? I think not. We generally call that a tactical or strategic foul (or rule-breaking), and view it as acceptable. Ditto for other strategic fouls, whether it's Hack-a-Shaq or a deliberate delay of game penalty in football by the team in the lead as the game clock winds down. Cheating generally involves deception and an attempt to avoid penalty; by contrast, when a player outwardly violates a rule and readily accepts the rule-based consequences, that's different, and (to me) isn't cheating.

(2) One can see how that applies to several of the water polo examples; for example, the "foul-and-drop". Those seem equally strategic fouls, not cheating or improper. Maybe it makes for a boring game; it my view, it does. But those are the rules, and if you don't like them, change them -- as we indeed have (in part). It's not the job of the referee to change them to correspond to whatever her idiosyncratic view of what's best for the game. Call the foul and invoke the rule-based penalty. (Of course, if it's a hard foul, that's a different foul, and feel free to call that; but don't call a hard foul just because the team's obviously foul-and-dropping.)

(3) A similar position applies to the other examples discussed; e.g., trying to foul out a player ("Foul out No. 3!) or calling a time out on a breakaway. If you're willing to accept the consequences, it's a strategic decision -- if the deliberate timeout rule needs changing, change it. The "Foul Out No. 3" example seems analogous to telling your players to try to take charges from a great opposing player who often drives in the lane; not only is it not cheating, but it seems a wise move. If the player in fact charges, great, let's try to get 5 on him; if not, and we're willing to accept the blocking penalty, so be it. On the water polo side, that seems no different than coaching your team to think about taking an exclusion (or even a five meter) if the opposing center turns you rather than letting him have a one-on-nobody. Yes, it might be a deliberate foul, but that's not cheating; as long as you don't intend to injure or anything like that, it's part of the game, and a strategic violation of the rules.

Now, personally, I (like you) do not like it when a coach publicly screams these things out; to me, it's better sportspersonship to say these things privately. (Though I honestly don't blanche at coaching saying "Take the exclusion!" in the appropriate context.) But I'm okay with the strategy. On these points, I'm a rules guy. (Whereas the "it's cheating" approach is more formalist and, I think, oversimplifies the underlying complexity.)

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Re: Misconduct question

Postby oldtimer » Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:47 am

I think renaming intentional rule breaking from 'cheating' to 'tactical foul' runs along the same lines as calling deaths of civilians in a war as 'collateral damage' (OK, overstating a bit perhaps, but to make a point). But then, we engage in a lot of that these days in order to soften/remove the offensiveness of the behavior. As for basketball, I don't watch it (not a 'sports fan'), but the behavior seems offensive to me - if the intent is to intentionally foul in order to gain an advantage, it cheapens the game if it isn't punished.

Nonetheless, once again I'll point out that while I will often make commentary where I think a referee has missed a call or made a wrong call - it also often gets stated that this game (if not most others) is not always, and possibly very often, not called 'according to the rule book'. I gave one example with the misconduct/flagrant/brutality issue, but there are others.

With regards to trying to get someone fouled out - that isn't breaking any rule, as best I can tell. Putting a player on your back to force them to either play correct defense or get excluded is fully within the spirit of the game. If you try to duck under and claim you were fouled, or simulate a foul to get the other player excluded - *that* is cheating, and hopefully the referee penalizes you appropriately. If you accidentally splash a player you might get an exclusion (or more likely nothing), but if you intentionally do it you will probably get a misconduct.

Again - intent changes the magnitude of the penalty. And that is what we are discussing, it seems to me. If I call a time out at the wrong time (I think my goalie has the ball, but he/she just lost possession), simply calling a penalty shot with no other punishment seems perfectly appropriate, and within both the rule and spirit of the game. But if I call a time out specifically because it benefits me, isn't the referee *supposed* make - or not make - the appropriate call that does *not* benefit the one who committed the offense. For example, pulling back on a player that is not holding the ball is in the rules as an exclusion. However, if that player is in the back court on a counter attack the referee *shouldn't* call the foul as it would benefit the one committing the foul. Should it not also be called the other way? If an intentional foul has benefitted the defense, should there not be a more severe penalty in order to discourage that behavior? This is exactly what the advantage rule states, in part: "...They shall officiate in favor of the attacking team by awarding a foul or refraining from awarding foul if, in their opinion, awarding the foul would be an advantage to the offending player’s team." Does that not also apply to what the coach does? A particular foul might be called in one circumstance, but a different call might be made in another circumstance depending on the intent and what impact the foul has at the time - yes?

As an aside, I'll also refer you to an article by James Graham titled "The (dis)Advantage Rule" that was published in this forum back in 2020 that discusses the problem with using the 'as the rules are written' and interpretations of them. Philosophy of sport, indeed!

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